Chicken ears – the better to hear you with…

Yes, chickens have ears! They actually start developing hearing on day 12 of incubation! Of course they don’t look like ours or another animals with an external display of ear.They are located on either side of their head, and are small holes that can be difficult to see because they may be covered in feathers. You may be able to see their lobes which stick out slightly from their head, and are located in the space behind the eye and wattle (the red floppy skin under their chin).

The chicken ear has three parts like ours, the outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear (to help with balance). Also, chickens have the ability to regrow the inner ear hair cells! Humans cannot do this, and as we age our inner ear hair cells contribute to loss of balance. Research is looking at how chickens can help humans with hearing loss!

The color of your chicken’s ear lobes can actually be a good predictor of the color of their eggs. A white lobe means they will lay white eggs, a brown lobe means they will lay brown eggs. The color of a chicken’s feathers may not be the same color of their lobes. For more on the color of the egg go here.

Chicken_head
Chicken head, notice the ear and the ear lobe – the color indicator of eggs. (Photo credit: eXtension.org).
Turkey_head_labeled2
Turkey head – ears and all! (Photo credit: eXtension.org)

I bet you will never look at a chicken head the same way again!

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Egg Information…Fun Fact Friday

During the week I usually eat oatmeal for breakfast, as it fits into my schedule the best. But on weekends, I love a big breakfast of eggs and my favorite morning meat (bacon or ham). Since I am anticipating the breakfast that awaits tomorrow, I wanted to share some egg fun facts with you.

eggs
The edible incredible egg…

 

Did you know that a chicken produces an egg every 24-32 hours?

To produce 1 dozen eggs, a hen eats about four pounds of feed!

Most eggs are laid between 7 – 11 a.m.

Eggs are good for your eyes, they contain lutein. Lutein helps prevent age related cataracts and muscle degeneration.

The edible part of a chicken egg is about 74% water, 13% protein, 11% fat and 2% other (ash).

Chickens start laying eggs when they are 20 weeks of age.

There is no nutritional difference between white shelled eggs, brown shelled eggs, or blue/green shelled eggs – the egg color is usually the same color as the chicken’s ear lobes.

There are approximately 280 million egg laying birds in the U.S.; each produces 250-300 eggs per year … that’s 77 billion eggs produced annually in the U.S.!

Eggs 6-5-12
Eggs can come in a variety of colors – but there is no nutritional difference.

For more poultry facts go here and here.

20-Minute Chicken Creole

Looking for a quick, easy, tasty meal this weekend? Check out this one from my friend and colleague Alice Henneman.

Cook It Quick!

cooking

This blog was created by guest blogger, Maggie Spieker, a dietetic student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Are you looking for something to spice up your weekday meals? Then this easy one pot recipe is for you. Inspired by down home Louisiana Cajun cooking, this chicken creole will not disappoint on flavor. The spiciness level is easily adjusted to fit any taste.

The chicken in this recipe provides lean protein, while the vegetables are loaded with antioxidants. It can easily be made gluten free by putting it on a bed of brown rice instead of whole wheat pasta. You probably have most of the ingredients you will need for this 20-Minute Chicken Creole already in your kitchen.

ingredients

Yield: 8 servings
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Total time:  20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 chicken breast (whole, skinless, boneless)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14 1/2 oz., with juice)
  • 1 cup chili sauce…

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